Payleven Seals 02 Deal as Mobile Payments Race Heats Up

By Conor Rushby |

The race for market share in the mobile payment solutions space is heating up, with Rocket Internet’s Payleven announcing on Wednesday a partnership with telco giant Telefónica Germany. The pilot scheme will see the payment device in selected 02 shops across Germany being given out for free to small traders signing new phone contracts.

Payleven is offering a free dongle plus free transactions on the first €1,000 of custom with a special promotional code, after which the 2.75 percent transaction fee will apply. The deal is an important move in the company’s attempts to broaden its appeal as a number of competitors are jostling for room alongside it.

Competitor iZettle announced yesterday that its product will be available free of charge for all small business customers of the Swedish Nordea Bank.

And payments processing company Adyen this week launched Shuttle, targeted specifically at its existing clients – including big brands like Vodaphone and Gidsy – to provide an alternative payment channel.

Serving all major credit and debit cards, and currently running in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and the UK, Payleven does not have the Europe-wide reach Shuttle already boasts, by virtue of Adyen’s clients, although iZettle is currently limited to the Nordic countries, the UK, and Germany.

Unlike Adyen, and more like iZettle, Payleven is focusing on the micro merchants market. As well as extending its reach though the 02-Telefónica deal, the company has also partnered with American payment solutions company Elavon to target mobile small and independent businesses such as beauticians and market traders. Earlier this month it also announced a partnership with the Taxiverband Berlin to help solve the problem of cashless cab journeys.

Once the 02-Telefónica pilot is complete the deal will be rolled out to all O2 shops and O2 partner shops.

Michael Kurz, vice president of digital partnerships at Telefónica Germany, said: “With the mobile point of sale we help small businesses such as craftsmen, pizza delivery companies or tradesmen, to take card payments anywhere and offer their customers payment at the doorstep. Therefore, customers can pay conveniently as well as securely at home and do not have to worry about having sufficient amounts of cash at hand.”

US mobile payment pioneer Square – which is the inspiration behind Payleven – has yet to cross the pond, but the battle for mobile payment supremacy in Europe has begun in earnest without them, with Berlin-based SumUp yet another major player.